What does infected period blood smell like?
Fishy: Fishy smells may be a sign of infection. This smell often will persist after your period ends and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as unusual-looking vaginal discharge, itching, burning, or tenderness in your genital area.
Period blood can have a metallic smell, like a copper coin. This is typically due to the presence of iron in the blood and is not usually a cause for concern. However, it should not persist much longer after the period ends.
"But period blood stays in the vagina for a longer period of time. It's exposed to the bacteria in the vagina, and that's where you get that odor." You might also notice that it doesn't always smell the same. The amount of bacteria in the vagina fluctuates, which can change the smell.
First, menstrual blood is made of both blood and tissue that sheds from the uterus. When menstrual blood mixes with our own bodies, bacteria and odor may develop. Many describe this as fishy.
Contrary to that belief, the blood you menstruate is just as “clean” as the venous blood that comes from every other part of the body and it's harmless as long as you don't have any bloodborne diseases (pathogens aren't picky when it comes to manifesting in bodily fluids).
- Menstrual hygiene. If your period blood smells like fish, that means you need to change your pad or tampon. ...
- Shower daily. Bathe twice a day to maintain period hygiene and avoid an unpleasant period smell. ...
- Wear cotton clothes. ...
- Use menstrual cup.
Can a man get sick from period blood? Period blood, just like all blood, can contain bloodborne pathogens. Consuming period blood (during oral sex) or getting it in an open wound comes with a risk of transferring or contracting known or unknown bloodborne illnesses.
Your vaginal discharge may smell slightly metallic — like copper pennies — when you're menstruating. This is because period blood contains iron. A vagina that smells like ammonia may be a sign that there's urine residue on your genitals (vulva) or that you're dehydrated.
Symptoms of pelvic infection may include:
- Pelvic pain, especially during intercourse.
- Bad-smelling vaginal discharge.
- Bleeding between periods.
A yeast infection can present itself in the form of symptoms like discharge, inflammation, rashes, persistent itchy sensations, pain and swelling in the vagina. These symptoms can also include burning or stinging sensations, especially during sex or urination.
How do you know if your uterus is infected?
- Pain — ranging from mild to severe — in your lower abdomen and pelvis.
- Unusual or heavy vaginal discharge that may have an unpleasant odor.
- Unusual bleeding from the vagina, especially during or after sex, or between periods.
- Pain during sex.
- Fever, sometimes with chills.
- Painful, frequent or difficult urination.
Bacterial vaginitis (BV) can produce a fishy odor that is also accompanied by increased vaginal discharge, irritation, burning and sometimes itching. It is caused by an overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria that disrupts the balance of healthy bacteria that live within the vagina.
Infection Risk From Sex During Your Period
It's crucial to practice safe sex while you're having your period because you could still get or transmit an STI, like HIV, during this time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus may be present in menstrual blood.
It's common to get a yeast infection after your period. Hormonal changes, such as the ones you experience during your period, could kill the bacteria living in your vagina and cause a yeast infection. Most vaginal yeast infections are caused by Candida albicans.
- Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) is a rare and potentially life-threatening illness that is thought to be caused by infection with certain types of bacteria.
- Women who have their period (are menstruating) are most at risk of getting TSS, as it is thought to be associated with tampon use.